Thursday, April 20, 2006


In pictures: Swiss advert

The Swiss Tourist Board hopes scenes of bare-chested hunks tossing hay in mountain valleys will entice women dreading a summer of World Cup boredom. While husbands are glued to television sets, Switzerland has a whole lot more to offer, suggests the TV advert. A swarthy mountaineer gives a steamy look, while Mr Switzerland 2005 gently milks a cow's udders and a voice asks: "Ladies, why don't you spend this summer in Switzerland, where men focus less on football and more on you?"

Switzerland Tourism spokesman Oliver Kerstholt says the advertisement for the Alternative Ladies' Programme is not, of course, encouraging ladies to play away from home during the action in Germany. "As our neighbouring country is hosting the World Cup, we thought what can we do to benefit?" he told the BBC News website. "Mostly men will be interested in the games going on, so we thought: let's focus on the women who, in general, tend to be less interested in soccer." So Switzerland Tourism has a variety of offers tailored for "football widows" - from golf sessions and glacier adventures to relaxing weekend breaks and shopping.

Mr Kerstholt says the advertisement was intended for television but it has already attracted interest from around the world, despite only having been broadcast on the internet. For those planning a family holiday over the World Cup period, one firm advertising on the tourist board's website aims to cater for all: "While dad watches the football World Cup, mum enjoys the delights of a massage and the kids set off in search of Zwerg Bartli the dwarf." An added bonus is that "every time the German or Swiss team scores a goal each hotel guest is treated to a glass of champagne and for every win the reward is a whole bottle of champagne".

And there is the one potential hiccup - the Swiss team has actually qualified for the tournament for the first time since 1994, so Swiss beefcakes may have other things on their mind after all.
But there is always Swiss chocolate.



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